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October 20 2020

My Student Can't Read the Lowest Book - A Case Study

At Read Side by Side we frequently hear teachers say, “Several of my students cannot read the lowest book club selection.” This matter-of-fact statement, tinged with disappointment, is often followed by permission to move to an easier text, one outside the three book club selections, but closely aligned to the students’ reading level. The assumption behind the teacher’s statement and request is the belief that students can best succeed when they are properly matched to just the right text. Yet, several researchers suggest that there is no such thing as the just right text and there is little or no research to support the practice of carefully matching children to texts, especially in the upper grades.

August 27 2020

The Ultimate Guide to Virtual Teaching

The Read Side by Side Reading Program, a curriculum for teaching reading in grades 3-6, is designed to teach students how to access longer, more complex text and increase their interest and motivation to read.  As schools shift from in-person instruction to virtual instruction, these goals are even more important.  There are several reasons for this:

March 21 2018

How to Group Students for Reading

FAQ: I have a question about how to group students for reading. Currently we are using a walk-to-read structure but will be switching curriculums to the Read Side By Side Reading Program. Is it okay if we keep our walk-to-read model with this program?

February 21 2018

Tips for Better Book Club Discussions

How do you get your students to talk during book club discussions? Sarah Collinge, author of the C. I. A. Book Club Teacher’s Guides, gives some helpful suggestions!

February 12 2018

Assigned Reading or Free Choice? The Illusion of Choice

Should students’ reading in school be assigned or left to free choice? Before choice can be valuable, our students must first know what they like to read. They must be exposed to a variety of genres, topics, and authors and have pleasurable reading experiences that lead them to the next book. Find out more in this blog article by Dr. Peter Dewitz.

May 22 2014

Book Clubs in 3rd Grade


Forming the Groups

When I heard that there were going to be book clubs that partnered up with the CIA books, I was more than excited to have my students to have a similar experience with book clubs that I’ve had. I decided to begin the book clubs the second week after Spring Break.  This gave me plenty of time to continue small group work, and it would be a fun way to end the school year.

November 19 2013

Book Club with Janet Erickson

The Book Clubs are so much fun.  Every student is reading, talking about their book, or writing about it for the entire Book Club time.  It's such a great use of reading time – no one is waiting!  I have three groups.  In the below-grade-level group there are six kids reading Shoeshine Girl, and in the above grade level there are six reading How To Steal A Dog.  The other 13 students are close to grade level and are reading Because of Winn-Dixie. All three groups are enjoying the books.  I don't know how Sarah figured this out, but the amount of reading each day is just right.  The kids in Shoeshine Girl have more opportunities to re-read, and the kids in How To Steal A Dog are thrilled to have enough to keep on reading!  Every student has a reading partner, and this is working out better than I could have imagined.  The kids go to their partner when they have a question, and I've only had one pair sign up for a conference with me.

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